Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Bill to restrict cough syrup sales pulled

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BATON ROUGE- You can get cough syrup containing dextromoethorphan on the shelf at just about any pharmacy.

Some told News 2 they know several people who use it for more than a cough.

"You mix it with like, Sprite, and you'll drink it to get high, " says Amber Butler.

"It's definitely not uncommon," adds James Rogers.

Louisiana poison control workers started seeing the problem back in the late 90's, and said it hasn't lost any steam. Representative Dorothy Sue Hill recently heard about a boy abusing the syrup in her district and decided to step in.

"He had cartons and cartons, empty cartons of cough syrup," recalls Hill.

She drafted House Bill 82, which would restrict the sale of DXM only to people older than 18. Purchasers would have to show ID, and violators would face jail time and hefty fines.

"But then I got down here and I started having some opposition mainly from the drugstores," she said.

Several states already regulate DXM, including Florida and Illinois. However,  Hill says she's taking her bill off the table for now.

"It didn't get killed but we're turning into a study. I had a few who were behind me who said 'We're with you,' but it takes more than that," she explains.

Hill plans to start her study right away, and go back to the drawing board.

"It may be a compromise, but down the line we want to save kid's lives," she said.

DXM is found in more than 120 cough and cold medicines.


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